Look Development & Workflow in DaVinci Resolve

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Welcome to an in-depth course in Look Development and Workflow in DaVinci Resolve.  

This is an intermediate course for colorists that want to gain a solid understanding of look development workflows, color management, and color theory.

You will learn complex saturation workflows, how to evaluate and recreate film emulations, analyze and create film halation, create custom black and white look, film grain methodology, the teal and orange look and much more.

At the end of the course, we challenge you to use what you have learned, to color grade your own version of an award-winning commercial.

The footage used in this course and a free sample of 35mm film grain is available for download so that you can easily follow along.

About the instructor

Jason Bowdach is a colorist and finishing artist based in Los Angeles, California. He's a Blackmagic Design certified instructor specializing in color and finishing, and he has an extensive background in film\tv post-production with large-scale international distribution at studios like Disney and Fox. He is also the founder of PixelTools, a company that creates color grading tools and presets for DaVinci Resolve.

Who is this course designed for?

  • Intermediate colorists
     

COURSE OVERVIEW

 

LESSON 01: HERO SHOTS

Going through methods for evaluating which shots to include as hero shots.

LESSON 02: COLOR MANAGEMENT & BASE GRADE

Preparing the project by setting up the color management and color space aware tools. Looking at how to work with exposure and balance to preserve details while keeping the integrity of the cinematography and the context of the story. Also going through some image-analyzing tools that helps make better decisions in the base grade process.

LESSON 03: LOOK WORKFLOW AND FILM PRINT EMULATION LUTS

In this lesson, we're diving deep into workflow for look development and node organisation with node hierarch. Then, looking at film print emulation characteristics and setting up a workflow to get the best result out of them.

LESSON 04: WORKING WITH FILM PRINT EMULATION LUTS

Using printer lights and film print emulation on a commercial using the established workflow. Also, discussing order of operations, ways to kill off saturation, whether to apply noise reduction before or after the grade and general color theory.

LESSON 05: SILVER HIGLIGHTED LOOK

Demonstrating three different methods to create the Silver Highlighted Look (Bleach Bypass) on a color chart. The methods include midtone detail work to add micro contrast, shaping luma only curves and primary controls.

LESSON 06: LOOK ADJUSTMENT

Now it's time to implement the look into the established workflow, on top of the base grade. Explaining how to adjust for best possible result and consistency. Then, experimenting by mixing silver looks.

LESSON 07: EVALUATING & RECREATING FILM EMULATIONS

Diving into the characteristics and behaviours of film emulations, and recreating the essence with curves.

LESSON 08: CUSTOM BLACK & WHITE LOOKS

The RGB mixer and the Splitter & Combiner node is used to gain better control over black & white images.

LESSON 09: ANALYZING & CREATING HALATION

Analyzing halation on images shot on film, and creating halation that can be used in a variety of looks from scratch. Talking about the benefits of working in linear light and converting between color spaces.

LESSON 10: FILM GRAIN METHOLOGY

Using charts and scopes to evaluate grain, and continue to emulating both negative and positive film grain. Looking at the best ways to integrate grain for most visually pleasing result, and setting up a real film-scan-grain workflow.

LESSON 11: TEAL & ORANGE LOOK

Building the classic teal & warm look with curves on a test image and charts.

LESSON 12: TEAL & ORANGE CONTINUES

Going through two more methods to create the teal & orange look, using both primaries and the color warper.

LESSON 13: COMPLEX SATURATION WORKFLOWS

Going through different saturation tools, and looking at color management to create technical accurate saturation response in non-managed workflows. Then, using the LAB model to adjust saturation and using HSV and HSL to create deep filmic colors.

LESSON 14: COLOR MODELS EXPLAINED

Looking at some color models to better explain what happens with saturation when converting between different color spaces.

LESSON 15: HARDWARE & 3RD PARTY SCOPES

Jason walks you through his hardware recommendations and looks at Nobe Omniscope.

LESSON 16: CHALLENGE

In the last lesson, we're challenging you to re-create the original grade of a commercial using the techniques and strategies from this course.


 

 

 

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I’m the Lab example of the Saturation lesson, how are you adjust your knobs all together as if they are ganged together? I am having to adjust them separately. Also, which saturation method are you finding yourself to come to the most ? 

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Some honest feedback. I had such a tough time following this course. I'm trying to learn some fundamentals of Davinci Resolve with this service and he didn't cover any of the workflow to get the files into the Color pane. Also, I don't have a color panel and it was so hard to see his navigation because he was using one. Things were just happening on the screen and I had no idea where he pressed to get there. I'm sure you're already proficient with the  Davinci Resolve UI, this course is great, however don't take this course if you are new.

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11 hours ago, Deiontrez Mount said:

I’m the Lab example of the Saturation lesson, how are you adjust your knobs all together as if they are ganged together? I am having to adjust them separately. Also, which saturation method are you finding yourself to come to the most ? 

Are you talking about the curves? If so, there is a little lock icon next to the YRGB buttons that will gang and un-gang the channels together. 

In terms of methods, it all depends. I try to use the easiest method that gets me to my destination. Sometimes it requires nothing more than saturation, other times I may need to dig deeper with some of the tools \ techniques I demonstrated. All depends on what my final goals is. 

8 minutes ago, Maximo Zhang said:

Some honest feedback. I had such a tough time following this course. I'm trying to learn some fundamentals of Davinci Resolve with this service and he didn't cover any of the workflow to get the files into the Color pane. Also, I don't have a color panel and it was so hard to see his navigation because he was using one. Things were just happening on the screen and I had no idea where he pressed to get there. I'm sure you're already proficient with the  Davinci Resolve UI, this course is great, however don't take this course if you are new.

Thanks so much for your feedback. This course was intended for intermediate colorists, hence why we didn't cover some of the introductory topics like importing, organization on the media page etc. There are several other courses available on the site that go deeper in that area, but this was focusing more on grading techniques and mindset. 

Appreciate your feedback about the panel as well. I tried to provide some context whenever I did important tasks via the panel, but I can see some of it getting lost. I'll think about this for future training courses . 

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7 minutes ago, Jason Bowdach said:

Are you talking about the curves? If so, there is a little lock icon next to the YRGB buttons that will gang and un-gang the channels together. 

In terms of methods, it all depends. I try to use the easiest method that gets me to my destination. Sometimes it requires nothing more than saturation, other times I may need to dig deeper with some of the tools \ techniques I demonstrated. All depends on what my final goals is. 

Thanks so much for your feedback. This course was intended for intermediate colorists, hence why we didn't cover some of the introductory topics like importing, organization on the media page etc. There are several other courses available on the site that go deeper in that area, but this was focusing more on grading techniques and mindset. 

Appreciate your feedback about the panel as well. I tried to provide some context whenever I did important tasks via the panel, but I can see some of it getting lost. I'll think about this for future training courses . 

Thank you for the clarity Jason. I think it's an incredible course but like you said, I don't have the proper fundamentals yet. Do you have any courses on here that you recommend?

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On 12/9/2021 at 4:07 AM, Maximo Zhang said:

Do you have any courses on here that you recommend?

I do recommend the Professional Color Grading Course by Kevin.  You need the very basics there as well, but it takes you through how to best approach exposure and balance and that's what you need to get started. If you have no clue about how to ingest footage, what the different wheels does etc, you should go see the basic training videos released by BlackMagic Design.

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On 3/12/2022 at 1:29 PM, Viktor Karban said:

In comparison with Kevin, this seems rather mangy and vague.

I think you'll find that as training gets more advanced, its inevitably become a bit less "step-by-step" and more generalized thought process based but I'm always trying to make it consumable for a variety of skill levels.

 

Is there anything specific you feel wasn't covered clearly? Feedback always helps for the next one! 

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Enjoying the course, Jason. I'm curious if you think there is any value in colour managing or using a LUT to go to say REC709 when working on a black and white film, or if it's more advantageous to just stay in LOG applying some of the methods you describe using the different colour channels? My concern is that by staying in LOG, I can't separate the colours as well and hence play with the B&W tonality as accurately? Thanks! 

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